May was all about patch 5.3 news, heroic scenarios, Battlefield: Barrens, and (strangely enough) an awful lot of debate over whether WoW was too easy or not. Where did that come from?
Oh, well. We also got crochet worgen and a lot of really nifty screenshots in Around Azeroth in May.
WoW community member Lore joins Blizzard Entertainment /salute Lore
Patch 5.3 and more with Ghostcrawler A fantastic and extensive interview on a wide range of topics. One of the interesting tidbits here is that GC tended to agree with Rossi's argument (you'll see it below) that classic raids were, as Anne glossed it, "15 really good people and the rest were mostly filler."
Diablo 3 bug sees trillions in gold duping, auction house shutdown For a brief period after Diablo's 1.0.8 patch, players were able to duplicate their gold reserves freely. Some reportedly became trillionaires within hours. Oops.
The top 5 things you need to know about patch 5.3 Hybrids everywhere wept tears of joy over being able to select a loot specification different than their current spec. Don't miss Olivia's video either.
Patch 5.3 official patch notes May 21 saw the patch and Battlefield: Barrens hit the live realms.
Death knight one-per-realm restriction lifted Let a thousand cold-eyed, blue-hued melee/tank hybrids bloom!
The ongoing mystery of the Unborn Val'kyr Particularly ongoing for those of us who have yet to find the damn thing.
Opinions and Editorials
The issue of gender and character creation Izunai on Reddit's /r/wow community asked one of the more divisive questions that the community tends to get: Is there something wrong with playing a character whose sex is not your own? Alex's response to the gender-bending haters is best summarized in the image above.
Gear is good. Gear works. Rossi's response to Adam's final essay on gear from April.
Does WoW need new animations? As someone who plays a female tauren and has all of four face choices and no serious difference between directional or omnidirectional spell animations in addition to a bugged tabard and closed eyes in character portraits ... I'm gonna go with yes.
What is the biggest graphical eyesore in today's WoW? Players have nearly 300 comments' worth of very strong feelings on this subject. Many of them surprisingly concern trees. Many of them unsurprisingly concern the female worgen and tabards on robe-wearers.
The false memory of WoW's difficult past Rossi takes a dim view of nostalgia's adding a lot of difficulty to bosses only in hindsight. Some readers agreed, but some didn't. In response to the enormous comment section that this article spawned, he returned with Things that were harder before.
Arts and Entertainment
WoW Moviewatch: WoW bosses as actual bosses "I remember you ... in the mail room."
Around Azeroth: Champagne supernova Finding an invisible wall in Deepholm and putting it to aesthetic use.
WoW Moviewatch: Fifth Element Avengers I've had to condense how frequently Fifth Element's stuff has appeared in the 2013 series, but really, everything they did was great.
Around Azeroth: Treat yo' self! "A death knight's bath is probably filled with more diseases than a Seaside Heights sauna."
WoW Moviewatch: If WoW was Easy ... er The game's actual degree of ease seems to have been a sore point this month, and this was Wowcrendor's entry on the topic. It's hilarious, as we've come to expect from Wowcrendor, but as a few people in the comments note, he also managed to capture most of the problems with private servers in a nutshell. We have another word for games in which you can do anything and be anything and have anything at a moment's notice: Boring.
Wowcrendor: The nice guy behind the biting machinima And we finally got to interview the man himself! WoW players may not know this, but his most popular video is actually in the League of Legends fandom: How to win at League of Legends. Also, some sage advice: Hobbies change when they become your job.
WoW Moviewatch: Stwarkwaft II "Bwizzard Entertwainment Pwesents ..." This deserved a lot more attention that I feel it got.
Around Azeroth: The last island in the world I need to find out how Taedran managed this series of screenshots.
Around Azeroth: The body farm Lissanna's appearance in the comments prompts me to ask: Why does my chicken keep dying too?
Classes, Raiding, and PvP
The Care and Feeding of Warriors: Survival and the modern warrior "DPS warriors blow up really easily. Blizz gave us Shield Wall and Spell Reflect without a shield to compensate. It helped a little."
The Blood Pact combat logs series Megan ran a series on the use of World of Logs for warlocks, though I'd argue that a player of any class who needs a WoL boot camp would benefit from reading it:
- WoL, 'locks, and damage done
- Buffs and debuffs for warlocks and logs
- Combat log kung fu for warlocks
The return of the firecat Druids' desire to have some control over their appearance while shapeshifted wars with their desire to never see the Firelands again. The former wins.
Shifting Perspectives: Mastering the Rune of Re-Origination for ferals However, the return of "firecat" wasn't the only blast from the past that rocked druids in patch 5.2. The Rune of Re-Origination had unmistakable shades of those old trinkets from Wrath with enormous armor penetration procs. Your challenge? Equip it without wasting a huge chunk of its benefits. Chase pulls out the scratch paper.
Odds and Ends
WoW Archivist: Launch classes' 9 biggest aggravations, part one and part two Priest racials, soul shards, mana for hunters, weapon skills for shaman, itemization for warriors, rogue poisons, raid boss immunities for mages, being an Innervate bot for druids, and 5-minute blessings for paladins. Yep, the gang's all here.
The 5 mounts I'm going to farm until the end of the world I have three of these but have given up all hope of ever seeing the Ashes of Al'ar or the Time-Lost Proto-drake, as have many of our commenters.
The mystery of the dragon in Ahn'Qiraj A level 5 red dragon named Andrestrasz was added to a cave on the coast behind Ahn'Qiraj in patch 5.3, and we still have no clue why he's there. A programmer's joke? An NPC for a quest that isn't in the game yet? A clever way to drive everyone crazy trying to figure out why he's there? Your guess is as good as ours, although the saddest possibility is that he's a way to honor the memory of someone who has passed.
The useless distinction between casual and hardcore "I stand by it. The terms mean almost nothing now."
Officers' Quarters: The new burnout Blizzard has accelerated content delivery, which largely eliminated the problems that guilds had with people getting bored. However, the speed of the new content can be a problem in itself for guild officers trying to keep everyone current.
Drama Mamas: The case of the disagreeing duo Robin and Lisa rarely disagree with each other, but it happened here. Unfortunately, I think the issue that the letter writer's talking about with respect to PUGs won't be going away until there's an actual penalty to DPS players' decision to pull recklessly.
The top 10 most beautiful spots in WoW and The top 10 most desolate spots in WoW This was a lovely series by Sarah on locations that are often all too overlooked as players rush around with dailies, archaeology, and raids. As a note? One of the most beautiful spots is around where that new dragon is in patch 5.3. Make the trip.
Know Your Lore: Of wolves and mages Rossi examines one of the most shadowy figures in WoW's lore. Conclusion? There's probably a massive story behind Ur that we haven't gotten.
5 tips for casual raiding in Mists Mike from The Starting Zone podcast and Scott had had a discussion on the increasing difficulty of normal mode raids and how best to maintain a casual raid in that context. As with all the advice we give to our raiders, good communication will always top the list.
Solo the Chess Event with Tikari's Tricks of the Trade Getting to Prince to try coaxing a pet drop out of him got markedly easier after reading this.
If you enjoyed this article, you might get a kick out of our Best of 2009, Best of 2010, Best of 2011, and Best of 2012 series.